Ardmore, Ireland Tourist Attractions
Ardmore (Ard Mor, "Great Hill") is an attractive little resort halfway along the south coast of Ireland, 2.5mi/5km off the N25 to the east. It offers a good beach and fine cliffs; the village itself mingles old buildings and modern villas.Besides the major attractions, there are many pleasant walks along the cliffs - to the sea-caves in Ardmore Head and Ram Head, east and south of the village, to Whitling Bay (west of Ardmore) and to the beautiful Bay of Monatray (sandy beach).
The well-preserved round tower (12th C., National Monument) of Ardmore is one of the latest of Ireland's round towers. It rises to a height of 29.6 m/97ft, in four tapering storys, with its round-arched doorway high above the ground. In the interior are projecting stones carved into grotesque heads.
St Declan's Church
Adjoining the Round tower in Ardmore is the ruined St Declan's Church or "Cathedral" (13th C., National Monument). It bears the name of a bishop who founded a monastery here in Early Christian times and is honored by an annual pilgrimage on July 24. The blind arcading on the west gable contains very fine Romanesque reliefs, unfortunately much weathered. In the upper row the figure of the Archangel Michael weighing souls can be distinguished; below are Adam and Eve, the Judgment of Solomon and the Adoration of the Kings. In the choir of the church are two ogham stones.Built on to the "Cathedral" is St Declan's House, which is believed to contain his tomb. This is an important station on the annual pilgrimage.
0.5mi/800m east of the main group of Ardmore buildings are the ruins of Dysert Church, once a church of some size. Near by is St Declan's Well (restored 1798), a holy well in which pilgrims bathed.
St Declan's Stone
At the south end of Ardmore beach can be seen an erratic boulder known as St Declan's Stone. It is said that anyone who crawls under the stone - only those not in a state of sin can do so, it is believed - will be cured of rheumatism.